Inscribed to his friend the Rev. Mr Cruickshank, Minister of Manor Parish, Peeblesshire.
The Sabbath bell! how glad the sound,
That calls from earthly care,
To worship in the solemn place--
The holy house of prayer!
But chiefly in the moorland wild,
In some sequestered dell,
Far from the stirring haunts of men,
I love the Sabbath bell!
'Twas morn--a winter Sabbath morn,--
With deep and drifting snow,
When to the house of God that bands
With joyful hearts did go.
O'er moor and mountain, wood and wild,
They bent their lonely way,
To spend within its sacred courts,
A holy, happy day!
The aged--reverend in their age--
Ah! well the path they knew--
Came forth, all conscious that on earth
Their Sabbaths would be few!
Weep not! ye aged ones, nor mourn
In this your house of prayer;
In heaven, a long, long Sabbath is,
And ye are welcome there!
The young, whom care had blighted not,
Nor sorrow bended low,
Assembled where their fathers' sires
Had worshipped long ago.
Nor pomp, nor state, nor wealth, nor rank,
Nor high distinctions given,--
They seemed a family met on earth,
Before their God in heaven!
"Praise ye the Lord with joyful hearts,
And glad hosannahs sing,
This is God's house, and this his day--
Ye people praise your King!"
All with one voice obey the call,
One heart the notes prolong,
And ne'er from high cathedral choir
Burst forth a nobler song!
Like waters, o'er their pebbly bed,
That murmur as they flow--
So swelled this song--so dear to those
That Scotia's Sabbaths know.
And when their pastor, father, friend,
Poured forth his soul in prayer,
It seemed as if the blessings craved
Showered down in mercy there!
Another heavenly song now sung,
Another closing prayer;
And now the band of worshippers
For happy homes prepare!
If heaven has bliss-oh! earth has peace,
When those who brothers be,
Walk in that love of Him who made
Mankind as brothers free!